Top Ten

February 7, 2022

QC announces first two innovation zones in Sherbrooke, Bromont

The Government of Quebec has announced the location of its first two innovation zones: Sherbrooke and Bromont. The innovation zones will bring together the education and business sectors to stimulate high-tech projects and investments in specific topics. The Université de Sherbrooke will be a founding partner for both zones and will provide research support and access to initiatives like the Business Partnerships Group and USherbrooke’s accelerator. The “Sherbrooke quantique” zone will focus on quantum science and will house IBM’s fourth quantum computer – the only one of its kind in Canada – while the “Technum Québec” zone in Bromont will specialize in digital technologies. Journal de Montréal reports that the zones are expected to see total investments of $435M and $255M respectively from QC, industry, and other sources. CTV News | Journal de Montréal | USherbrooke (QC)

Institutions share resources, restore historic buildings, hand out meal kits for BHM

Many postsecondary institutions have announced special events, new initiatives, partnerships, and projects in honour of Black History Month or African Heritage Month. St Francis Xavier University partnered with the Town of Antigonish to celebrate the launch of African Heritage Month in Nova Scotia, which follows the theme of Through our Eyes: The Voices of African Nova Scotians. Faculty from Western University and Huron University will be taking part in the restoration of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, which is reportedly one of the last surviving chapels built by formerly enslaved people who came to Ontario. The Lethbridge College Student Association will be handing out meal kits for Jollof Rice – an iconic West African dish. The University of Windsor and Athabasca University are among those that have compiled Black History Month reading lists. St FX | Western | Lethbridge News Now | UWindsor | Athabasca (National)

Confederation announces return of stolen Norval Morrisseau paintings

Confederation College has announced that two Norval Morrisseau paintings, which had been stolen from the institution in 1981, have been returned. In 2018, the Demi-God Figure 1 and Demi-God Figure 2 paintings were offered to a Toronto-based art curator who recognized them as the stolen paintings. The paintings will be permanently installed in the Thunder Bay Art Gallery, and an official unveiling will take place once in-person events are allowed. “This is a fantastic resolution to a long-standing mystery,” said Confederation President Kathleen Lynch. “I couldn’t be more thrilled to see these culturally and historically important paintings returned to the College so they can be viewed and enjoyed by visitors to and citizens of northwestern Ontario.” Confederation (ON)

Report predicts labour market shifts, discusses pathways into jobs in the clean economy

A new report released by The Conference Board of Canada and The Future Skills Centre predicts significant labour market shifts both in Canada and globally. The research shows that the changes in labour markets will result in some careers growing while others become obsolete, and that one in five Canadian employees are working in careers that are both vulnerable to automation and are difficult to transition out of. The research examines how workers can transition into jobs in the clean economy. “Career transition is essential to the flexibility of our economy, but workers will always need a reskilling phase to transition towards a new sector,” said Samir Khan, FSC Senior Research and Evaluation Associate. Ottawa Citizen (Editorial)

Dal, Abu Dhabi University sign MOU facilitating student collaboration

Dalhousie University has announced a new partnership with Abu Dhabi University that will see students working together on research projects with faculty supervision from both institutions. The partnership, which focuses on collaboration in health-care training programs, will provide virtual international experiences to students. In the future, the MOU may be expanded to include faculty and student exchanges as well as major research projects. “We are delighted by the shared purpose between ADU’s College of Health Sciences and Dalhousie’s Faculty of Health,” said Dal VP, Government and Global Relations Matt Hebb. “There is great potential for collaborations including faculty mobility, collaborative academic programs and joint research. The future of this partnership is bright.” Dal | CBC (NS)

CNOULF calls for more Francophone stakeholder consultations, creates committee for USudbury future

The Coalition Nord-Ontarienne pour une Université de Langue Française (CNOULF) has called on the Université de Sudbury to let Sudbury’s Francophone community play a bigger role in its development and future. “The Coalition supports the Universite de Sudbury’s new status as an institution managed by, for and with Francophones,” said Coalition Spokesperson Denis Constantineau. Constantineau indicated that “Francophones in our region have lost confidence in Laurentian University” and added that the coalition does not want to “end up with a university like the one in Toronto.” A committee of experts from the coalition is developing recommendations on the mandate, mission, and mechanisms that the university should put in place, and hopes to present its report in April. The Sudbury Star | CBC (ON)

UVic launches “Call to Mind” podcast to break stigma around dementia

The University of Victoria has launched a new podcast called “Call to Mind” that focuses on breaking stigmas around dementia. The four-episode series, which includes audio diaries and conversations from people living with dementia and their caregivers, was recorded by the storytellers during the first 18 months of the pandemic. It was made into four 30-minute episodes that address the “narrative scarcity” of the voices of those who are experiencing memory loss and their caregivers. "[T]he ‘Call to Mind’ podcast series demonstrates our commitment to creating a better world though curiosity, engagement and innovation,” said UVic VP Research and Innovation Lisa Kalynchuk. “This new podcast on love and memory loss demonstrates our commitment to community-engaged impact-oriented research.” UVic | CBC (BC)

Dawson community members respond in frustration to suspension of expansion

Dawson College students, staff, and community members are responding in frustration after a recent announcement that the Government of Quebec had suspended plans for the institution’s expansion. Dawson faculty member Tim Miller said that the suspension will mean that a new medical clinic would not be able to go forward. “This was all set up to be housed in this new project and to invest in the community to be able to give back immediately,” said Miller. Alexandrah Cardona, president of Dawson’s Student Union said that the expansion would have helped resolve a serious issue with overcrowding and that COVID-19 has exacerbated the issue. Both Miller and Cardona say that the institution’s language should not be used against it. “The French language is very much alive in our institution,” said Cardona. CBC (QC)

BCIT, CNA launch new microcredentials

The British Columbia Institute of Technology and the College of the North Atlantic have both recently announced new microcredential programs. BCIT and the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade have partnered to launch a new Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Fundamentals Microcredential. Participants will learn how to incorporate ESG standards into their companies and contribute to a more sustainable and regenerative economy. CNA has launched a new Cybersecurity for the IT Professional microcredential. The program takes a week to complete, and consists of three courses: Introduction to Cybersecurity, Cybersecurity – Technical Defense, and Managing Cybersecurity Operations. The program will prepare students to enter the cybersecurity industry to fill the labour gap. BCIT | CNA (BC | NL)

Why institutions continue to make acceptance, scholarship mistakes: Opinion

When postsecondary institutions make mistakes in who they send acceptance and scholarship emails to, writes Abbi Ross, it can have serious repercussions for their relationship with applicants. Ross says that institutions’ adoption of digital processing has led to the emergence of errors that would be caught more easily in analog systems. The author describes a variety of issues that can appear in digital processing, including human errors, errors in a mail merge, and decision codes being incorrectly inputted. Ross says that human errors are inevitable, but that institutions must carefully manage these errors to ensure that their relationship with applicants is not damaged. The Chronicle of Higher Ed (Subscription) (Editorial)